Could a Midlife Career Change Be Too Risky?
So what are the chances that a midlife career change will result in a more rewarding and fulfilling career.
That will depend on your career change motivation, (i.e) getting to the root of why you want to change careers.
Why Do You Want to Change Careers?
Do you know why you want to change careers?
A midlife career change is quite common, however it does present some issues that a younger person won’t usually face.
Some common career change reasons are:
1. It has been forced on you through redundancy, or the industry you have worked in for many years is disappearing due to industry changes.
2. You have been frustrated in your current career for a long time and you have finally decided to do something about it.
3. You have become more aware that your life and career balance are not to your liking anymore.
For other common reasons why people change careers see career change reasons.
How Do I Find out Why I Want to Change Careers
1. Simply write out the question, Why do I want to change careers? And then list every reason you can think of.
You will likely come up with more reasons if you write your reasons out rather than simply thinking them through.
And the more reasons you come up with, the more likely you are to have uncovered the main reasons. Here are three steps to finding out why you want to change careers:
- Write out all possible reasons. There is something in the act of writing it out that forces us to go to a deeper level when looking for answers.
- Find other people who have been through a midlife career change and ask them what their reasons for changing were.
- Make an appointment with me or another good career consultant to discuss the issue. This is usually very worthwhile.
If you have been shying away from your midlife career change because of the expectations of others, or so-called societal norms, that’s probably the wrong reason.
There may often be a sense of “I have failed” when you have worked in one career for many years and are now faced with the fact that you don’t like what you do or are being forced to start over.
Perhaps you may feel responsible because you still have family to provide for.
What would happen to them if your new career change didn’t work out?
Maybe you’re concerned you won’t be able to earn as much money as you currently do.
If your career transition is an over 40 career change, or perhaps you are even considering a career change after 50, then the above concerns could be compounded?
But here’s the big question…
What Will Happen If You Don’t Change Careers?
That’s a great question to ask yourself.
And another that goes with it, “What’s the worst that can happen if I do change careers?
Or, “What if this midlife career change doesn’t work out?”
To avoid confusion and to help you make a rational decision, it’s usually simply a matter of listing all the pros and cons and weighting each of them according to the importance you place on them.
Or you can use this nice little piece of decision-making software which effectively does it for you.
Financial concerns often weigh heavily on a midlife career change decision.
A few questions you need to consider are:
- Do you have an idea what you will do? If so what is the market rate.
- Will the new salary or wage present issues for you compared to your current income.
- If the answer to number two above is yes, then you will need to do some forward planning in regards to your cash flow to see how you might manage your career change financially.
See my personal budget worksheet for further information on addressing these financial issues during your midlife career change.
How to Ease Your Career Change Fears
Some people transitioning through a midlife career change have started their new career before leaving their old one.
Could some of these career transition possibilities work for you:
1. Start off part-time.
Once you have identified what you want to do, is it possible to start off part-time, evenings, weekends to give you a feel if it’s going to work.
2. Run both careers at the same time by working less in your current job.
For example is it possible that you could reduce your current job to four days per week. Many employers are willing to look at that.
3. Is it possible that your new career interest could be directed towards opening a small business, once again part-time to begin with?
There are also many home-based businesses you can begin these days, for example a home-based web site business where you can use information you have gained in your job over the years and turn it into revenue producing webpages. Click the link above to find out more.